Bradford’s puBs in the good beer guide 2020
The Corn Dolly – City Centre
Multi-award winning traditional freehouse that is a short distance from the city centre and within easy reach from Forster Square railway station. It used to be called the Wharfe due to its location near to the former Bradford canal and opened its doors for the first time in 1834. It retains the friendly atmosphere of an out-of-town local. An open-plan layout incorporates a games area to one end. There are three regular real ales plus a further five guests, usually from regional breweries and always including a varying dark ale. Autovac is used in the dispense method. Good value food is served weekday lunchtimes. It is popular for a pint before Bradford City matches. A collection of over 1000 pumpclips adorn the beams and the jukebox is worth checking out especially if your musical taste veers towards rock and the 80’s.
The Fighting Cock – City Centre
Drinkers’ paradise in an industrial area, this traditionally-styled freehouse is 20 minutes walk from city centre and close to the bus routes along Thornton Road and Legrams Lane. Multi-award winning, it was CAMRA Branch Pub of the Year 2018 and the Branch Cider Pub of the Year 2019. Its traditional, unpretentious feel appeals to a wide variety of people from loyal locals to well-travelled real ale enthusiasts. Twelve real ales are usually on sale including at least one dark beer. Autovac is used in the dispense method. Real ciders are offered, comprising three regulars (sourced from Biddendens and Westons) and two guests with one of these often being a perry. Foreign bottled beers are stocked and good value lunches are served Monday to Saturday. The juke box has an extensive and eclectic choice of music. A large pub garden is located on the opposite side of the street.
Jacobs Beer House – City Centre
Refurbished and re-opened in May 2013, this pub was formerly known as Jacobs Well. CAMRA Bradford Cider Pub of the Year 2018 & 2017 and also runner-up Branch Pub of the Year 2018. This is the only building, dating from 1811, on what is left of Kent Street. It comprises a single open-plan room but with a rustic, multi-room feel. There are nine handpulls. Up to eight of these offer a varying range and style of real ales with the other being used to serve real cider. There are numerous boxed ciders, including a regular cider by Grumpy John plus others often by Coleman’s and Pure north, and perries. Foreign bottled beers are also available. There are mini, themed beer festivals at times during the year and the pub is well known for its dark ale festivals.
NOTE: Return Trays (AKA Autovacs /Beer Economisers) in use.
Old Bank – City Centre
City centre traditional-style pub located within an impressive building that was formerly a bank. There is a large ground floor room, with a semi-enclosed room to the rear, and an additional seating area upstairs. The ground floor is finished with oak woodwork and neutral colours whilst the upstairs room has an impressive and opulent classical style to it. The bar has four handpulls serving a beer from Coach House Brewery and up to three guests. Autovac is used in the dispense method. Good value meals are offered throughout the day. A smoking area is located a the rear of the building. Sections of the pub can be hired on request. The pub is under the same ownership as the Ginger Goose, City Vaults and Lord Clyde but each have their own identities.
Peacock – City Centre
Opened in May 2016, this Indian-themed bar offers real ale and Indian street food with a twist. Four hand-pumps serve real ale while a further two serve cider. Thornbridge Jaipur and Bradfield Farmers Blonde are permanent beers and there are varying guest ales usually including one from Saltaire. A further tap is used to serve cider. Indian street food is prepared and sold on the ground floor. The upstairs room, with a large TV showing BT Sports, can be booked for meetings or functions. Large selection of gins and rums. The pub is popular with football fans especially when Bradford City are playing at home. A quiz takes place on the last Wednesday of the month and comedy acts perform on a Thursday night every 2-3 months.
In the 60s, this pub was ‘Sooty’s Shop’. There used to be a little upstairs window sticking out above the entrance where Sooty would turn to and fro waving his magic wand.
NOTE: Return Trays (AKA Autovacs / Beer Economisers) in use.
Record Cafe – City Centre
Opened in late November 2014, this establishment’s unique selling point is the sale of ale, vinyl and ham! The pub is CAMRA Bradford’s Pub of the Year 2019 and also won in 2017 (runner-up in 2018) and Pub of the Season for Autumn 2015. It comprises a single open-plan corridor style room on the ground floor, containing the bar and charcuterie, and an upper mezzanine area. Four real ales are available on handpull with a further seven craft keg beers from independent brewers offered on tap. The ales cover a variety of styles and a dark beer is often available. Autovac is present in the dispense system but is not used significantly. Real cider and perry is also available and, in addition, there is an extensive selection of of home-produced and imported bottled beers and speciality gins. Snacky food is offered in a charcuterie style focussing on hams and cheeses from Spain and with the menu being presented on LP covers. Meanwhile, in the upstair mezzanine area, it is possible to browse and purchase vinyl records until 6pm. Tap takeovers occur from time to time. There is a 20% discount on take-out bottles and cans.
NOTE: Return Trays (AKA Autovacs / Beer Economisers) in use.
Sparrow – City Centre
Opened in 2011 by local enthusiasts this simply furnished cafe-style pub was refurbished in May 2018, under its new ownership by Kirkstall Brewery, the interior now comprises painted walls with breweriana pictures and mirrors, many of which have a Scottish theme, and dark wood panelling behind the bar. There is a main bar area on the ground floor with additional seating and larger tables in the basement. Of the six handpumps, three reserved for the regular Kirkstall Brewery beers whilst the others are used for guests. One of the guest pumps is reserved for dark beers. Nine taps behind the bar served kegged beers, usually from small independent breweries, and one cider. There is a font for Veltins Pilsner on the bar and a good range of bottled beers is also available. Deli-style platters can be bought during opening hours. The pub can be very busy when Bradford City FC are playing at home. Live acoustic music is played on Sundays, 4-7pm and there are occasional mid-week music events
Cracker Barrel – Greengates
Opened in April 2017, this small, friendly, popular, family-run micro-pub comprises a single room with the bar positioned to the rear. It has a cosy, homely feel. Tetley Cask Bitter is the regular real ale. The other four hand-pulls serve an ever varying range of real ales, often including a dark beer, from regional breweries. Lagers and Somersby Cider are also available from adjacent taps. The pub is family and dog friendly. A small outside seating area is located to the front of the pub but it is next to a busy main road so expect plenty of noise!
Idle Draper – Idle
Situated in the centre of Idle village, this modern micro-bar opened in November 2016 and is housed within the premises of the former Briggs draper. It comprises a single room containing the bar on the ground floor with an additional comfortable lounge area above. To the rear is a converted barn, believed to be one of the oldest buildings in the village, which houses the newly established Bone Idle Brewery and has an upstairs TV/cinema room and an outdoors seating area. Three handpulls offer a varying range of real ales with two usually from Bone Idle. Lagers and stouts are also offered as are numerous gins from an extensive menu. The upstairs room can be hired for private functions as can the barn. Brewing events can be booked and those involved in the brewing are able to design their own pump clip and buy the beer at reduced prices once it is available at the bar. The barn can be made available for community events and the Bone Idle Mens Club meet there every Wednesday evening. Guitar lessons are offered on the first Thursday of the month. From February 2019, Spanish lessons will be available on Tuesday evenings
Cresent Inn – Ilkley
A traditionally but comfortably furnished town-centre pub and with original plasterwork and decorations present. Refurbished in 2011 on the ground floor of a building that has been a hotel since 1861. Eight real ales, comprising four regulars and four varying guests, are always available and usually sourced from local breweries. Home-cooked bar meals are available with meal deals during the week. The attached restaurant is part of the Le Bistro Pierre chain. There are full disabled facilities but the rear door provides best access. A quiz takes place on Monday nights.
Flying Duck – Ilkley
A beautifully refurbished historic traditional-style pub close to the town centre. Originally constructed as a farmhouse in 1709, this is reputed to be Ilkley’s oldest pub building. It was re-opened in late 2013 under its current name, a reference to a previous name. This Grade-II Listed building retains many of its original features, such as, Yorkstone and oak flooring, beamed ceilings, internal stonework and mullioned windows. Up to eight real ales, including four regular ales (three from the house brewery) and always including a porter or stout, and two real ciders are available. Autovac is used in the dispense system. Wharfedale Brewery is located in a barn to the rear and tours can be arranged. The first floor function room includes a bar and is free to hire. There is an outside terrace to the rear. Walkers, runners and cyclists are welcome as are well-behaved dogs. Food is served Tuesday to Sunday and also on Bank Holiday Mondays.
NOTE: Return Trays (AKA Autovacs / Beer Economisers) in use.
Fox – Shipley
Popular small and friendly single room, cafe-style bar is simply but smartly furnished. Six hand-pulled real ales include some from the in-house BEEspoke micro-brewery. Real ciders are available, usually including one from a local producer, as are a wide range of international bottled beers. Three niche world-class lagers are available on draught. Handy for quick refreshment when waiting for trains as the station is close to the rear of the pub. There is live music every Tuesday & Wednesday evening and bands often perform on a Saturday night when the pub is often very busy. A quiz also takes place on Monday nights.
Hullabaloo – Shipley
Popular, modern-style bar located close to Shipley town centre and the bus interchange. Previously the Connexions café, the premises opened as a new bar in October 2017. It is open-plan but has three distinct areas in a variety of styles over split levels. There are four hand-pumps serving a variety of real ales, usually from regional brewers and often different to the other pubs in the area, plus a further hand pump dedicated to cider. A number of artisan craft beers are also available on the six keg taps. Children are welcome.
Sir Norman Rae – Shipley
Often nick-named “The Waiting Room” due to its proximity to Shipley bus station, this establishment is a typical conversion by Wetherspoon from a previous use. Formerly a Co-op department store, it originally opened as a Lloyds No.1 but then changed to the standard Wetherspoon format. The guest real ale choice usually focuses on local breweries. As with other pubs in the group, Greene King products are also present on the bar. “Meet the Brewer” nights are occasionally held. The good-value food on offer is from the usual Wetherspoon menu. The pub is conveniently located next to Shipley bus interchange and close to the railway station.
The Cap and Collar – Saltaire
Popular micro-pub opened in November 2014. It has a modern open-plan cafe-style layout and can accommodate up to 35 people. A beer garden and smoking area are located to the rear. Four handpulls serve a varying range of real ales often from local breweries but can also be from further afield. Two further beers from independent breweries are offered and dispensed using the key-keg system. A real cider is also usually available. There are occasional cheese tasting nights and live acoustic evenings. Folk musicians play on a Sunday afternoon. Dogs are permitted unless the pub is busy. Pork pies, with various flavours, and other snacky food is offered.
The Salt Cellar – Saltaire
This traditional pub was built just on the edge of the World Heritage Site of Saltaire village because Sir Titus Salt did not allow licenced premises in the area. Previously the Victoria and following a period of refurbishment, it re-opened in December 2017 as the Salt Cellar. Much of the character of the earlier building has been retained and the pub has a friendly, cosy feel. It comprises a two-roomed house with Victorian character having comfortable seating, stained glass partitions and book shelves. There are numerous pictures of old Saltaire adorning the walls. Six handpulls offer a varying range of real ales from local and regional breweries and usually comprise two blondes, two ambers and two dark beers. Autovac is used in the dispense system. The public bar now focusses on selling specialist gins of which there is an extensive collection. Closing times on a Friday and Saturday may vary.
Hooper Micropub – Wibsey
Opened on Christmas Eve 2015, this cosy and friendly, split-level micro-pub quickly established itself with local people in the urban village of Wibsey. The bar is situated on the upper level and there is comfortable seating in the lower part. Five handpulls offer a varying selection of beers that are primarily sourced from the local / Yorkshire region but with the occasional beer from further afield. Photographs of old Wibsey provide a simple relief from the otherwise minimalist décor. Closing times may vary depending upon the demand.
Platform 1 3/4 – Bingley
This single room pub is situated in the town centre off Chapel Lane and close to the railway station. The interior seating is zoned and includes some unusual recycling. Outdoor seating is provided in fine weather. Eight handpulls serve two regular house beers (a bitter and a blonde) and up to six ever-varying guest beers. There is always a dark beer available. Many of the real ales are sourced from the surrounding region. Autovac is used in the dispense system. Numerous keg taps, on and behind the bar, offer a range of lagers and ciders. The fridges stock a variety of international and UK craft beers in bottled and canned form. Up to 24 boxed ciders of various styles are also available. Dogs are welcome as are children until 8pm. Classic TV programmes are played on a rotating basis on a screen in the corner of the room. opening and closing times may vary depending upon the demand.
Chip N Ern – Bingley
Traditionally-styled micropub located on Bingley’s Main Street and a popular destination on the local real ale scene. The wood-panelled ground floor bar has a distinctive range of decorations. Additional seating is available in the well-furnished upstairs gin bar. The seven cask ales include a varying range from Bingley, Bridgehouse, Goose Eye and other guest breweries. Autovac is used in the dispense system. A varying range of ciders is also offered. A musician’s jam night is held early on Tuesday evenings whilst a folk jam night takes place on the first Monday of the month. Close to the railway station and handy for exploring the famous Five Rise Locks on the adjacent Leeds-Liverpool Canal.
Foundry Hill – Bingley
A modern basement pub, located opposite the railway station, comprising a small bar area and an adjacent larger room. Up to five good quality real ales are offered and these are often from regional breweries, as well as further afield. The real ale styles offered tend to comprise a pale, two golden, one bitter/amber and one dark. There is also an extensive gin selection including some rare ones. Closing times may vary depending upon the demand. The pub is family friendly and children are permitted until 7pm. Dogs are also welcome. Details of events are given on the pub’s facebook page.
The Bulls Head – Baildon
Lovely, award-winning, two-roomed establishment with a cosy and well-appointed lounge, proper tap room, log fires and photos of Baildon adorning the walls. A very popular village local with a warming atmosphere where visitors and well-behaved dogs are always welcome and frequented by a wide age range of customers. As well as the four regular real ales there is an additional ever varying guest usually from the darker end of the scale. Autovac is used in the dispense system. Quizzes are held on Tuesday and Sunday nights and includes a free supper. The separate tap room houses darts, dominoes and a classic table video game machine. A singer or acoustic band usually perform once a fortnight on Saturdays. Whilst the pub does not host its own beer festivals, one takes place every May in the Moravian Church immediately to the rear.
The Junction – Baildon
This popular, multi-award winning and friendly three-roomed traditional local comprises a snug, public bar and a games area. The four regularly available beers, usually including two from the in-house Junction brewery, are complemented by two guest ales. Autovac is used in the dispense system. Bottled ciders and foreign beers are also sold. Sports events on TV are popular. Quiz nights are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays, a jamming session on Sunday nights and varying pub games during other evenings. A piano is present for those who may want to provide impromptu live music and sing-alongs. A regular 3-day beer festival occurs at the end of July. The pub is the “headquarters” of Shipley Town FC.
Get your copy Of the good beer guide 2020
Now in its 47th edition, the beer-lovers’ bible is fully revised and updated each year to feature recommended pubs across the United Kingdom that serve the best real ale. The GBG is completely independent, with listings based entirely on evaluation by CAMRA members. The unique breweries section lists every brewery – micro, regional and national – that produces real ale in the UK, and their beers. Tasting notes for the beers, compiled by CAMRA-trained tasting teams, are also included. This is the complete book for beer lovers and for anyone wanting to experience the UK’s finest pubs.